TIFF 2015: Room‘s Big Win Wraps Up the Festival

Room is the People's Choice in Toronto as the festival draws to a close.
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Ten days, 397 films from 71 countries, 30,671 minutes of film shown on 28 screens throughout the city, and more international stars and hits of caffeine than you could shake a stick at. Putting up yet another set of impressive numbers, the 40th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) drew to a close this past Sunday after almost a fortnight of film.

From the crowd-pleasers (The Martian, Spotlight) to the crowd-dividers (High-Rise, The Lobster) and from the pleasant surprises (Land of Mine, Desierto) to the disappointments (Man Down, Mr. Right), TIFF fans have had no shortage of films to watch and discuss since the fest kicked off on September 10.

With the end of the festival comes the annual TIFF award announcements and, alongside them, the inevitable Academy Awards predictions. The big winner this year looks to be Lenny Abrahamsons Room. Based on the best-selling novel by Emma Donaghue, the Canadian-Irish co-production took home TIFF’s coveted People’s Choice Audience Award despite strong, bigger-budget competition from Spotlight, Black Mass, Brooklyn, Truth and The Danish Girl.

Given that previous People’s Choice winners have included 12 Years a Slave, The King’s Speech, and Slumdog Millionaireall of which rode the Toronto audience wave of approval all the way to Oscar gold—you can bet Room‘s Best Picture (and acting nod) buzz starts now.

Other winners at today’s ceremony included Ilya Naishuller’s Hardcore, which took home the Midnight Madness Audience Award, Alan Zweig’s Hurt, Evgeny Afineevsky’s Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight For Freedom, Sion Sono’s The Whispering Star, Marko Skop’s Eva Nova, Jonas Cuaron’s Desierto, Stephen Dunn’s Closet Monster, Andrew Cividino’s Sleeping Giant, Patrice Laliberte’s Overpass and Maimouna Doucoure’s Maman(S).

So with the awards doled out and the final films screened, it seems fitting that we take a quick moment to circle September 8 – 18 in our 2016 calendars. This year’s fest may be over, but there’s always next year’s to look forward to.

(image courtesy of TIFF)

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